In a previous post I wrote about "How to read Android apk contents", since then I have tested those apps and have drawn conclusions.
There is no need for all of those apps, all one needs is two main apps which can do everything one might want with his apks!
The clear winners are:
These two application complement each other and let you view any aspect of an APK (apkInspector) and change it as you wish (apk multi tool).
I have explained a bit about APK Multi Tool in the previous post about reading android apk contents and so I want to clarify a bit about APK Inspector.
APKInspector is a python application which runs only on linux and needs several packages to be installed for it to run.
The above requirements can frighten many people so a virtual box (Oracle virtual box) was created using the Ubuntu OS and all packages (as well as the main app) already are installed on it.
In order to download this virtual machine (4.2 gb) go to the following site:
and download the virtual box, run it, and then run APK Inspector which is already installed on the box.
Couldn't be simpler than that!
Several caveats though:
I assume you want to run APKInspector because you want to inspect an APK, so it will be advisable to copy an APK from your windows machine to the virtual box, I recommend using "shared folders". (more on this topic later).
I assume you will want to get updates to the APKInspector without having to download another 4.2 gb of virtual machine, for that to happen the creators of the virtual machine have integrated two mechanisms: 1. They suggest downloading the apkinspector using GIT, having the latest version by just updating it. 2. Apparently, in the latest version (not yet in the current stable version 23-09-2012) they have added an updater utility (sounds like the simplest solution).
How to install it:
1. Install VirtualBox Guest Additions
2. Mount the shared folder so I can get the actual apk from the windows box (in this example I called my shared folder "vbShared"):
sudo mount -t vboxsf vbShared /home/android/vbShared
2.5 (The above is explained here: http://my-wd-local.wikidot.com/otherapp:configure-virtualbox-shared-folders-in-a-windows-ho)
3. Goto the apk inspector directory:
4. Run it: python startQT.py
The APKInspector has a very nice and intuitive GUI, which enables the user to see all of the apk's information in a glance (Manifest info etc), and allows the user to browse a tree of files / classes which upon a click are decompiled to readable java / android code.